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CMS and long-term care providers have never considered sleep as an integral part of the plan of care and services provided for the resident. This Restorative Sleep Vitality Program (RSVP) is a combination of nationally recognized evidence-based, sleep hygiene research studies and the application of cutting edge practices to enhance residents’ sleep & wake.  Empira is challenging some of the standards of practice and operational procedures for providing cares and services in skilled nursing facilities.

Our nursing homes have come to the forefront in recognizing that a good night’s sleep is one of the most important gifts we can give our residents. Sleep is not just a state we fall into, but a necessary and vital part of keeping us healthy.  With sleep in mind, we have reviewed our practices and cares and have made adjustments that include:

  • Reduce disturbances to nighttime sleep and increase daytime activities for our residents
  • Encourage good exposure to light and sun during the day and darkness at night to help keep internal clocks set
  • Reduce daytime napping that robs nighttime sleep
  • Offer different types, timing and amount of foods and fluids to better enhance wakefulness and sleep
  • Review and perhaps change medications to assist with improved sleep and wake times
  • We continue to look for ways we can enhance the sleep and wake of our residents – and by doing this we are increasing their quality of life.

We allow our residents the option of not being disturbed during the night, if that is their desire.  By eliminating or minimizing night time interruptions, we can encourage more of the restorative sleep they need to maintain and enhance their quality of life.  Although there may be times when we need to awaken our residents (usually for medically necessity) our goal will be to minimize disturbances to nighttime sleep.


  1. Discuss the etiology of sleep and wake and its effect on health, disease and illness.
  2. Explain the top 10 disturbances that contribute to the residents’ lack of good sleep hygiene and overall wellness.
  3. Identify operational actions and interventions long-term care providers can do to prevent sleep disturbances.

Sue Ann Guildermann, RN, BA, MA

Sue Ann Guildermann has forty years’ experience providing education, leadership and consultation to long term care provider organizations.  Sue Ann is a Registered Nurse with a BA and MA in communication and adult education.  She currently designs and produces educational seminars and conferences for Empira, a consortium of 24 skilled nursing facilities in Minnesota

For the last twelve years, she has created educational programs for both the management and direct-line staff to assist in the implementation of a national and state quality improvement grant to reduce resident falls in skilled nursing homes. Sue Ann has recently completed a three-year grant to eliminate sleep fragmentation and sleep deprivation in their Empira members’ nursing homes.

Sue Ann has edited, designed and written educational manuals, printed materials and videotapes.  She has taught at the University of Minnesota in the School of Public Health.  She travels nationally and internationally as a professional educator for the long term care profession.